Light Nuisance

Introduction

Light pollution can best be described as artificial light that is allowed to illuminate or intrude upon areas not intended to be lit. Light in the wrong place at the wrong time can be intrusive.

Intrusive light is over bright or poorly directed lights shining onto neighbouring property which affect the neighbours' right to enjoy their property. An example of this would be a poorly directed security light shining into a bedroom window. In most circumstance poorly directed light is easily rectified we would therefore encourage affected parties to informally engage with their neighbours in such circumstance.

To assist members of the public in instigating successful neighbour engagement we have developed a toolkit to assist you in the process of communicating with your neighbours without causing unnecessary conflict.

The best form of communication initially is in person. WRS advocates such engagement as many problems are caused inadvertently due to a lack of foresight, change in concerns about security, poor perception etc. In our experience this is often the most successful means of resolving problems and preventing them recurring. 

Our Advice : -

  • Do not approach your neighbour in the heat of the moment or late at night concerning your problem. Try to engage them at times of the day such as the weekend to discuss your concern.

 

  • Do not tell your neighbour what they should do or threaten them with the local authority. 

 

  • Try to engage in casual conversation prior to raising your concerns as an ice breaker to introduce your problem this is less likely to instigate a defensive responce. possibly suggest that they should stand outside with you to disucss the light and invite them to the affected location on your perpty to see the problem for themselves.

 

  • Listen to your neighbour try to be understanding their circumstance also. By doing this it is likely to lead to common ground and an agreement of what will be done to ease the problem.

On occasions neighbourly communication may be unsuccessful due to a number of reasons and an alternative method of communicating may be through a friendly letter.

 

Our Advice : -

 

  • WRS have prepared 3 sample letters that you can download and edit to suit your particular circumstance. They are graded in order of formality from friendly request to a final demand.

 

  • Begin keeping an accurate record of the problem using the downloadable diary


Letter 2 - Intermediate request

 

Letter 3 - Final request prior to formal complaint

 

Diary record form

 

You can edit these letter using the following free document editors : -

 

Microsoft Office starter (windows computers only)

 

Libre Office (PC,Mac & Linux)

 

Texteditor (IOS)

 

Microsoft Word (Android)

If all informal processes of engagement have failed then you can make a service request for assistance. You can only progress if you can demonstrate that you have made reasonable efforts to engage your neighbours in an attempt to resolve the problems that you are experiencing.

 

To make a service request please click here

If you are affected by the impacts of artificial light 

 

DEFRA guidance state that it is sometimes recommended that a complaint of artificial light nuisance could easily be mitigated by the use of curtains or blinds, even blackout curtains or blinds, by the complainant. It might be reasonable to expect a complainant to use curtains or blinds of everyday standard if they are bothered by unwanted light in their home. It might not be reasonable to require a complainant to purchase and install blackout hangings which might be expensive, and/or impair that person’s enjoyment of his property. 

Skyglow is a urban light pollution phenomena that goes beyond the legislative jurisdiction of the Local Authority. Sky-glow may interfere with the sky at night and the interests of astronomers however it cannot be dealt with as a statutory nuisance.

 

If you have concerns over potential light pollution from a new or proposed development you should contact the planning department. However not all new lighting requires planning consent, for example domestic security lighting.

If you are vulnerable and incapable of contacting your neighbour then click here

If your complaint relates to commercial premises click here

If you have been approached by neighbour about light nuisance and require further advice then click here

Details on the law of nuisance and the roles and responsibilities of the council and complainants can be found here.

How to contact us

General Customer Enquiries -
Please contact us on:
Email: enquiries@worcsregservices.gov.uk
Telephone: 01905 822799

Social Media

Follow us on Twitter: @RegServs

Address for Correspondence only

Worcestershire Regulatory Services
Wyre Forest House
Finepoint Way
Kidderminster
Worcestershire
DY11 7WF